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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2000 January-February;55(1-2):1-6

language: Italian

Exclusive radiotherapy in stage III esophageal carcinoma

Tombolini V., Banelli E., Cavaceppi P., Donato V., Montagna A., Raffetto N., Santarelli M., Vitturini A.


Background. The purpose of the report is to evaluate the role of radiotherapy in the treatment of stage III esophageal carcinoma and to analyze the influence of site, extension, grade of dysphagia and histology on local control and survival.
Methods. Twenty males and 6 females were submitted to external beam therapy with 4-6 MV X-rays and received 60-70 Gy in fractions of 180 cGY to 200 cGy per day, 5 days a week. Radiation therapy technique was two posterior oblique portals and a single anterior field at 100 cm SAD. After 4500 cGy portals were coned down, holding the spinal cord dose below 4500 cGy.
Results. Global response to therapy was 73.1%. Median survival was 11 months. The 2-year survival rate was 12.5% in patients with lesions smaller than 5 cm and 5.5% for those with lesions greater than 5 cm. Patients with grade 2 dysphagia had a median survival of 16 months, those with grade 1,11 months and 2 patients with grade 0,4 and 9 months. In all patients mild to moderate esophagitis was observed. Two patients developed esophagotracheal fistula.
Conclusions. Exclusively radiotherapy cannot be considered the treatment of choice in III stage patients. Primary chemoradiotherapy may emerge as the treatment of choice for cancer of the esophagus.

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